London Array Windfarm

An ongoing drive to improve the efficiency of its operations has seen London Array contract six new Crew Transfer Vessels (CTVs). The CTVs, which offer a range of capabilities, will be supplied under a two-year contract with operators Sima Charters and Windcat Workboats.


The move follows a lengthy assessment of how best to cope with the unique environmental conditions that exist within the world’s largest operational offshore wind farm, with water depths varying from intertidal to 25m sea level.

Production manager at London Array Graham Daws explained: “Downtime and associated lost production as a result of an inability to access the wind farm is the single biggest cause of lost production and lost revenue at London Array. To see whether improvements could be made we carried out a CTV evaluation last year, assessing in excess of 150 vessels to develop a detailed understanding of the pros and cons of different vessel types. Testing was focused on achieving a very specific combination of CTVs offering the optimum balance between maximising the working window; transfers in moderate to rough seas; extending access to very shallow locations; fuel efficiency; and sufficient forward deck space.”

Sima will supply two vessels, the SC Amethyst and SC Falcon. The contracts also include for further ad-hoc vessels under a frame agreement arrangement.

The vessel evaluation and contract execution was conducted with assistance from vessel brokers Force3 Offshore, who provided market advice and also assisted in the coordination and logistics planning with the vessel owners.


Michel Koffeman from Sima Charters said: “We are very pleased to participate in this project. London Array is a challenging wind farm where our vessels and crew will be in their element. The London Array organisation is professional and looks at the crew vessels in a different way, as only they know what best suits the environment of their wind farm.”

The vessels will operate from London Array’s Ramsgate base, carrying technicians and equipment to the wind farm site 12 miles offshore, in support of ongoing operations and maintenance activities.

Graham added: “We are confident this combination of vessels and organisations will deliver a safe, resilient and high-performing logistics solution for our routine maintenance and repair requirements.”